Ontario Premier Says Police Had No Choice But Raid Dispensaries

In her first statement on yesterday’s police raids against Toronto medical cannabis dispensaries, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said officials had to “take some action.”

“In terms of the dispensaries there’s been a real grey area for a while because the federal government has said they are moving ahead on the legalization of marijuana,” Wynne said. “But municipal bylaws don’t allow what’s been happening in Toronto and I think that the mayor had to take some action.”

The raids resulted in 90 arrests, 186 trafficking charges and 71 proceeds-of-crime charges.

“I’ve maintained all along that, as the federal government brings in the legislation, there’s going to have to be a very clear delineation between how we deal with medical marijuana and how we deal with recreational marijuana,” Wynne said. “That hasn’t happened yet. The line has gotten blurred and that’s why you’re seeing what’s happening in Toronto today.”

Wynne said she hopes the federal government moves quickly on legalization to help local governments implement rules around cannabis.

“I’ve made a suggestion in Ontario about the LCBO, the liquor control board, being the distribution mechanism,” Wynne said. “Whether it’s the LCBO or not, there needs to be some framework in place.”